The investment will enable ByHours to carry out its expansion plans which will see it move outside Spain and throughout Europe. It will also consolidate its model in Spain, with the support of Mediaset España, with a television campaign this year on all its channels.
ByHours.com, launched in 2012, offers hotel rooms in blocks of 3, 6, 12, 24, 36 and 48 hours. It now works with 600 hotels across Spain, leading international brands such as Silken, Tryp, Abba, Husa, BestWestern, H10, Sercotel or Vincci, and independent hotels. It now operates in London, Paris, Dublin, Milan, Berlin and Amsterdam.
Christian Rodriguez (30), founder of ByHours.com comments: “This is a key step for ByHours.com. To have such important partners allows us to accelerate all processes and achieve all the ambitious, but real, objectives we have in the short, medium and long term. It is confirmation that despite being a very mature market, there is room for new ideas and processes. This operation shows that the business model works and that there is a need in the market to incorporate ‘pay per use’ in travel / tourism online. “
Carlos Rodríguez-Maribona of Axon Partners Group Investment comments: “Travel is one of the hottest areas to invest in right now and ByHours.com reinforces our online travel portfolio and also addresses the latest trend of paying just for the hours you use. We are sure that this is going to be a partnership with great potential.”
ByHours.com has over 30,000 users, with 30% coming from mobile web or apps. It has over 30 employees and predicts its 2014 turnover to be EUR 10 million (USD 13.8m), with a plan to start operations in the United States over the next year.
The investment in ByHours.com will give momentum to the expansion of the model in other markets, including Meetings ByHours.com, a new service that permits the renting of conference rooms by blocks of 2, 4, 8 hours, and in future it is planning to launch a hire car equivalent, Cars ByHours.
These three investors add to current partners “la Caixa,” through Caixa Capital Risc and Fons Enginyers (Societat d’Inversió dels Enginyers). Despite this new round of investment, the entrepreneurs, as well as the founder, Christian Rodriguez, at the head, continue to be the majority shareholders.
Within its business strategy, ByHours.com has made strategic agreements that are key during the internationalisation phase; namely Odigeo-eDreams, Group Areas, Carrefour Travel and Pullmantur, within the travel sector, and its recent agreement with leading insurance company EuropAssistance.